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The Seer's Path
Olive Leaf (Olea europa)
As we are heading into another flu season, my thoughts drift to olive leaf extract. Olive leaf extract is an anti-viral agent, which is one of the few known in nature.
As stated in Prescription for Herbal Healing by Phyllis A. Bach, CNC, “In 1962, researchers found that oleuropein could lower blood pressure and increase flow in the coronary arteries, relieve arrhythmias and prevent intestinal muscle spasms. In the late 1960’s, researchers showed that eleonic acid, another component in olive leaf, could kill many kinds viruses, bacteria, and parasitic protozoans.”
The entire tree has been found to be beneficial for many different ailments. Though only found in temperate climates, such as the Mediterranean, the extracts can be found at your local herbal store.
The tree itself is a small evergreen found throughout the Mediterranean; its fruit has been enjoyed for centuries around the world. Fresh olives must be treated and cured in brine before they acquire the delicious taste that we are all familiar with. I am sure that most of us have and do cook with the oil pressed from olives. The flavor of the oil adds so much to anything that is sautéed in it. Olive oil also is a much healthier choice than other vegetable oils as it contains antioxidants, which help rid the body of free radicals we come into contact with everyday. Free radicals contribute to aging and many disease processes that eventually attack our bodies.
The next time you take a bath try putting a few drops of olive oil in the water. It is wonderfully moisturizing and softening to the skin. When I was a child I had an elderly woman as a friend, who had the most beautiful hands you ever wanted to see. She told me that was because she always used olive oil when cooking and if she got a little on her hands she would simply rub it into her skin instead of grabbing a towel to wipe it off. I have tried to follow her example.
There are several conditions for which olive leaf extract has been found useful. These include chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as Herpes virus infection. Yeast infections of the body have also been relieved from taking olive leaf extract.
Olive leaf can be found in tincture form or in capsule form, which 250 mg-500mg a day may be taken as a preventive or up to every six hours for infection. I would suggest taking the capsule form if available, as the taste of the tincture is quite foul.
The bark of the tree has been used internally for colic, feverish conditions and hypertension. The oil flavored with lemon can help relieve gallstones.
There are many kinds of olive oil in the market today, from many different countries; the one you choose is up to you. Each has a slightly different taste and it all depends on your personal likes and dislikes. Try grabbing a fresh loaf of Italian bread and warming a little of the oil with basil, oregano or whatever herbs you like and dipping the bread for a low calorie, healthy, treat.
The oil can also be used externally on abrasions, sore eyes, dry skin and dry hair. I use warm olive oil on my hair once a month to condition it. Simply apply a small amount and massage it into the scalp, wrap your head in a towel and leave it on for about an hour then wash it out. It helps relieve dandruff and itching as well as leaving your hair soft and shinny, a lot cheaper than some of the expensive salon treatments and it is completely natural.
Olive also has its magickal uses as well. The olive itself was sacred to Athena and Apollo in Roman history and the oil was burned in the temples. When eaten, olives are supposed to ensure fertility and increase sexual potency in men. This is probably why my Italian relatives are always making sure there are olives served at a wedding. A branch of the olive tree hung over a door will protect a house form evil entering and supposedly hung on a chimney will prevent lightening strikes. If worn olive leaves will bring you luck.
Whether you employ the olive for medicinal purposes, beauty treatments, or to enhance your cooking, enjoy it and live life to the fullest. The olive tree is truly a gift from the Gods.
Walk with Wisdom,
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